Chicot the Jester

Chicot the Jester

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Chicot the Jester, by Alexandre Dumas [An abridged translation of "La dame deMonsoreau"] #33 in our series by Alexandre DumasCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****Title: Chicot the Jester [An abridged translation of "La dame de Monsoreau"]Author: Alexandre DumasRelease Date: February, 2005 [EBook #7426] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was firstposted on April 28, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK CHICOT THE JESTER ***Produced by Robert J. HallCHICOT THE JESTER[Abridged translation of "La dame de Monsoreau"]BY ALEXANDRE DUMASCHAPTER I ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Chicot the Jester,
by Alexandre Dumas [An abridged translation of
"La dame de Monsoreau"] #33 in our series by
Alexandre Dumas
Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be
sure to check the copyright laws for your country
before downloading or redistributing this or any
other Project Gutenberg eBook.
This header should be the first thing seen when
viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not
remove it. Do not change or edit the header
without written permission.
Please read the "legal small print," and other
information about the eBook and Project
Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is
important information about your specific rights and
restrictions in how the file may be used. You can
also find out about how to make a donation to
Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.
**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla
Electronic Texts**
**eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By
Computers, Since 1971**
*****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands
of Volunteers!*****Title: Chicot the Jester [An abridged translation of
"La dame de Monsoreau"]
Author: Alexandre Dumas
Release Date: February, 2005 [EBook #7426]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of
schedule] [This file was first posted on April 28,
2003]
Edition: 10
Language: English
*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG
EBOOK CHICOT THE JESTER ***
Produced by Robert J. Hall
CHICOT THE JESTER
[Abridged translation of "La dame de Monsoreau"]
BY ALEXANDRE DUMASCHAPTER I.
THE WEDDING OF ST. LUC.
On the evening of a Sunday, in the year 1578, a
splendid fête was given in the magnificent hotel just
built opposite the Louvre, on the other side of the
water, by the family of Montmorency, who, allied to
the royalty of France, held themselves equal to
princes. This fête was to celebrate the wedding of
François d'Epinay de St. Luc, a great friend and
favorite of the king, Henri III., with Jeanne de
Crossé-Brissac, daughter of the marshal of that
name.
The banquet had taken place at the Louvre, and
the king, who had been with much difficulty induced
to consent to the marriage, had appeared at it with
a severe and grave countenance. His costume was
in harmony with his face; he wore that suit of deep
chestnut, in which Clouet described him at the
wedding of Joyeuse; and this kind of royal specter,
solemn and majestic, had chilled all the spectators,
but above all the young bride, at whom he cast
many angry glances. The reason of all this was
known to everyone, but was one of those court
secrets of which no one likes to speak.
Scarcely was the repast finished, when the king
had risen abruptly, thereby forcing everyone to do
the same. Then St. Luc approached him, and said:"Sire, will your majesty do me the honor to accept
the fête, which I wish to give to you this evening at
the Hôtel Montmorency?" This was said in an
imploring tone, but Henri, with a voice betraying
both vexation and anger, had replied:
"Yes, monsieur, we will go, although you certainly
do not merit this proof of friendship on our part."
Then Madame de St. Luc had humbly thanked the
king, but he turned his back without replying.
"Is the king angry with you?" asked the young wife
of her husband.
"I will explain it to you after, mon amie, when this
anger shall have passed away."
"And will it pass away?"
"It must."
Mademoiselle de Brissac was not yet sufficiently
Madame de St. Luc to insist further; therefore she
repressed her curiosity, promising herself to satisfy
it at a more favorable time.
They were, therefore, expecting St. Luc at the
Hôtel Montmorency, at the moment in which our
story commences. St. Luc had invited all the king's
friends and all his own; the princes and their
favorites, particularly those of the Duc d'Anjou. He
was always in opposition to the king, but in a
hidden manner, pushing forward those of his
friends whom the example of La Mole andCoconnas had not cured. Of course, his favorites
and those of the king lived in a state of
antagonism, which brought on rencontres two or
three times a month, in which it was rare that some
one was not killed or badly wounded.
As for Catherine, she was at the height of her
wishes; her favorite son was on the throne, and
she reigned through him, while she pretended to
care no more for the things of this world. St. Luc,
very uneasy at the absence of all the royal family,
tried to reassure his father-in-law, who was much
distressed at this menacing absence. Convinced,
like all the world, of the friendship of Henri for St.
Luc, he had believed he was assuring the royal
favor, and now this looked like a disgrace. St. Luc
tried hard to inspire in them a security which he did
not feel himself; and his friends, Maugiron,
Schomberg, and Quelus, clothed in their most
magnificent dresses, stiff in their splendid doublets,
with enormous frills, added to his annoyance by
their ironical lamentations.
"Eh! mon Dieu! my poor friend," said Jacques de
Levis, Comte de Quelus, "I believe now that you
are done for. The king is angry that you would not
take his advice, and M. d'Anjou because you
laughed at his nose."
"No, Quelus, the king does not come, because he
has made a pilgrimage to the monks of the Bois de
Vincennes; and the Duc d'Anjou is absent, because
he is in love with some woman whom I have
forgotten to invite.""But," said Maugiron, "did you see the king's face
at dinner?
And as for the duke, if he could not come, his
gentlemen might.
There is not one here, not even Bussy."
"Oh! gentlemen," said the Duc de Brissac, in a
despairing tone, "it looks like a complete disgrace.
Mon Dieu! how can our house, always so devoted
to his majesty, have displeased him?"
The young men received this speech with bursts of
laughter, which did not tend to soothe the marquis.
The young bride was also wondering how St. Luc
could have displeased the king. All at once one of
the doors opened and the king was announced.
"Ah!" cried the marshal, "now I fear nothing; if the
Duc d'Anjou would but come, my satisfaction would
be complete."
"And I," murmured St. Luc; "I have more fear of
the king present than absent, for I fear he comes
to play me some spiteful tricks."
But, nevertheless, he ran to meet the king, who
had quitted at last his somber costume, and
advanced resplendent in satin, feathers, and
jewels. But at the instant he entered another door
opened just opposite, and a second Henri III.,
clothed exactly like the first, appeared, so that the
courtiers, who had run to meet the first, turned
round at once to look at the second.Henri III. saw the movement, and exclaimed:
"What is the matter, gentlemen?"
A burst of laughter was the reply. The king, not
naturally patient, and less so that day than usual,
frowned; but St. Luc approached, and said:
"Sire, it is Chicot, your jester, who is dressed
exactly like your majesty, and is giving his hand to
the ladies to kiss."
Henri laughed. Chicot enjoyed at his court a liberty
similar to that enjoyed thirty years before by
Triboulet at the court of François I., and forty years
after by Longely at the court of Louis XIII. Chicot
was not an ordinary jester. Before being Chicot he
had been "De Chicot." He was a Gascon
gentleman, who, ill-treated by M. de Mayenne on
account of a rivalry in a love affair, in which Chicot
had been victorious, had taken refuge at court, and
prayed the king for his protection by telling him the
truth.
"Eh, M. Chicot," said Henri, "two kings at a time
are too much."
"Then," replied he, "let me continue to be one, and
you play Duc d'Anjou; perhaps you will be taken for
him, and learn something of his doings."
"So," said Henri, looking round him, "Anjou is not
here."
"The more reason for you to replace him. It issettled, I am Henri, and you are François. I will play
the king, while you dance and amuse yourself a
little, poor king."
"You are right, Chicot, I will dance."
"Decidedly," thought De Brissac, "I was wrong to
think the king angry; he is in an excellent humor."
Meanwhile St. Luc had approached his wife. She
was not a beauty, but she had fine black eyes,
white teeth, and a dazzling complexion.
"Monsieur," said she to her husband, "why did they
say that the king was angry with me; he has done
nothing but smile on me ever since he came?"
"You did not say so after dinner, dear Jeanne, for
his look then frightened you."
"His majesty was, doubtless, out of humor then,
but now—"
"Now, it is far worse; he smiles with closed lips. I
would rather he showed me his teeth. Jeanne, my
poor child, he is preparing for us some
disagreeable surprise. Oh I do not look at me so
tenderly, I beg; turn your back to me. Here is
Maugiron coming; converse with him, and be
amiable to him."
"That is a strange recommendation, monsieur."
But St. Luc left his wife full of astonishment, and
went to pay his court to Chicot, who was playing